Utilizing Biological Models to Determine the Recruitment of the IRA by Modeling the Voting Behavior of Sinn Fein [open pdf - 261KB]
"Sociological models have been extensively used to predict the behavior of terrorist groups and to understand their use of terrorism. Much remains to be understood, however, concerning the factors that govern the growth or decline of these groups. Sociological models are inadequate for understanding terrorist behavior because these models typically do not account for the behavior of individuals who ignore social mores. This thesis explores the use of biological population models as a means to incorporate predator-prey behavior factors into terrorist models. This thesis also demonstrates that this method is more appropriate for examining the growth and decline of terrorist organizations through the interaction of law enforcement and terrorist recruitment efforts. After analyzing the respective strengths and weaknesses of sociological and biological models, the thesis applies a biological model, the Lotka-Volterra predator-prey model, to a highly suggestive case study, that of the Irish Republican Army. This case study illuminates how a biological model can be utilized to understand the actions of a terrorist organization, and offer predictive value that sociological models lack."
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